Meet Oracle Arena’s Chef
Tim Wetzel serves hungry Warrior’s fans everything from traditional game day grub to elegant eats.
Name: Tim Wetzel (no relation to the pretzel empire)
City of residence: Danville
Job: Executive chef of Oracle Arena’s private clubs, suites, and concessions
Serving crowds that would terrify even the busiest restaurant chef, Tim Wetzel oversees the culinary machine that feeds 20,000 people every time the Warriors hit the court for a home game.
Most of the concession fare is burgers and garlic fries. But Wetzel also dishes up high-end cuisine for more than 1,500 posh fans in the private clubs and suites. “We’re talking elegant apps, heated carving stations, dessert carts, and more,” says Wetzel.
Wetzel has been on the job just since May, when he left the spendy Rosewood CordeValle resort in San Martin. The new gig is a challenge, but he loves it. “The Warriors handle the competition; what I create is the experience. I’m looking for the wow on people’s faces. They expect stadium food, and I love surprising them.”
Deep in the underbelly of Oracle Arena is where the magic happens. “We operate out of hot boxes, bringing food down elevators, wheeling it along hallways into all these different rooms. It’s a labyrinth. It took me more than a week just to find out which elevator goes where.”
Wetzel oversees more than 50 people—cooks, servers, dishwashers, and the warehouse team, who get almost as much exercise running food trays up and down the hallways as the players do on the court.
It wouldn’t be a sporting event without hot dogs. Wetzel’s signature pup is the beer-poached smoked bratwurst with banana peppers and sauerkraut. In the suites, the top sellers are the braised short ribs and the crispy pork belly sliders.
Tools of the Trade
Barbecue is chef Wetzel’s favorite thing to cook. The kitchen is equipped with several smokers and is usually blazing with flames and curling with smoke.
“Since I’ve been cheffing at Oracle Arena, my kids now think I’m way cool.” oraclearena.com.